10-Year Anniversary

The History of AdvancED – Over a Decade of Creating a World of Opportunities

On April 2, 2006 the Board of Directors of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and the Board of Trustees of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) made a unanimous, bold decision to unify their respective organizations. The National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) also joined the unification. The result was AdvancED—a single, comprehensive organization dedicated to advancing the quality of education for students worldwide. Unified as one, the new organization’s goal became clear—to provide even more relevant and meaningful products, services and support for education providers of all types around the world.

Follow the timeline for a snapshot of some of the important milestones and achievements for AdvancED as we celebrate the many contributions of our staff, volunteers, partners and institutions engaged in school improvement over the past 10 years.


AdvancED Yearly Milestones

  • AdvancED is established with the unification of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and the National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) creating the world’s largest education community.


  • As a result of the long-standing history with NCA CASI, the Michigan State Department of Education became one of the first DOEs to partner with AdvancED to provide full-scale accreditation services and school improvement support across the entire state. Today, AdvancED partners with numerous state departments of education and agencies across the United States to provide customized school improvement services.
  • NSSE is absorbed into AdvancED’s Innovation Division. Our Innovation Division guides the research agenda for AdvancED—focusing on a strong connection between research and practice.
  • AdvancED acquired the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), expanding its global reach to 50 states and 65 countries. Today, we accredit institutions in over 70 countries.
  • AdvancED School System Accreditation outpaced AdvancED School Accreditation with over 12,000 institutions in the AdvancED School System Accreditation model. AdvancED School System Accreditation is pivotal to leveraging improvement across an entire school system.
  • AdvancED began active advocacy efforts regarding education policy on behalf of education institutions around the country. Today, AdvancED acts as a strong voice for the education community by providing a platform for dialogues on topics such as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), known today as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and the importance of a strong focus on Early Learning.
  • We unveiled ASSIST™ (Adaptive System of School Improvement Support Tools). ASSIST merged process, content and technology into a dynamic web-based platform that supported end-to-end management of school improvement and accreditation processes. All types of education providers and partner organizations use ASSIST today.
  • The Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) joined AdvancED as the third accreditation division. The addition of NWAC provided institutions across seven states access to the AdvancED Accreditation Process and Protocol.


  • During the 2011-2012 school year, we proudly launched the new AdvancED Standards for Quality and Accreditation Protocols for schools and school systems. These new research-based Standards not only provided the foundation for the AdvancED Accreditation Process but also represented the continued evolution of accreditation as a powerful tool for driving effective practices in support of student learning.


  • Every five years, we reevaluate our own practices and Standards for effectiveness, and in 2016-2017, we launched a new and improved set of Standards focusing on three key areas of improvement for institutions.
  • AdvancED Diagnostic Reviews were recognized as a valuable tool in assessing the extent to which an institution has created effective policies, practices, conditions and culture that maximizes learner success and supports continuous improvement of student achievement.
  • We began to offer a more robust and extensive professional learning calendar with training, workshops, webinars and conferences offered around the world. Attended by over 10,000 individuals annually, these professional development opportunities provide valuable networking opportunities and insights from acclaimed practitioners and recognized educational experts. Now, institutions can access a variety of online courses and conference sessions via our professional learning calendar.


  • In August 2014, AdvancED STEM Certification was launched as a pilot to test the content validity of the Standard and Indicators and the effectiveness, pliability and reliability of the certification process. Nine schools went through the AdvancED STEM Certification Review process and successfully achieved certification. Today, AdvancED offers STEM certification worldwide.
  • As a part of our External Review process, we launched the Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool™ (eleot™). This unique research-based tool allows External Review Team members to observe learner engagement in the classroom. These observations are combined with those of other team members to produce learning environment data to be shared with the institution and used for continuous improvement. AdvancED created the award winning eleot® app for AIN member institutions that can be downloaded from the App Store to use as a formative tool for continuous improvement.


  • AdvancED announced the launch of eProve™—the next-generation school improvement tool. This new state-of-the-art productivity platform is designed to meet any institution’s continuous improvement needs. The eProve platform aligns improvement efforts through six comprehensive modules: eProve eleot, eProve surveys, eProve analytics, eProve diagnostics, eProve strategies and eProve workspace. Preview eProve.
  • The new eProve surveys module was released to the AdvancED network. In addition to accessing AdvancED’s library of Certified Surveys, eProve surveys allow institutions to create custom surveys and distribute electronic surveys in multiple languages. Respondents also can complete surveys via a mobile device – improving overall response rates. The use of surveys provide a unique and growing collection of data from students, parents and teachers about their experiences with their institutions, their beliefs about teaching and learning, their educational aspirations and a host of related topics. The new eProve surveys module will streamline this process.


  • We developed the next generation of Standards that provide greater emphasis on the learner and his or her experiences. The new and improved set of Standards launched to our network in the 2016-2017 school year.


  • As a part of the AdvancED Accreditation Process, schools and school systems engage in external review from a team of professionals known as the External Review Team. The External Review is crucial to providing feedback on the institution’s continuous improvement effort, evaluating adherence to the AdvancED Standards of Quality and making an accreditation recommendation. As of April 2016, an estimated 40,000+ External Reviews of network institutions will have been conducted around the world during our 10-year existence. This number includes School System External Reviews for many of the schools engaged in the AdvancED School System Accreditation Protocol. Over 18,000 volunteers, who support AdvancED including volunteers serving on our External Review Teams, have contributed to maintaining the integrity of the accreditation and school improvement processes and protocols. Are you looking for an opportunity to make a lasting impact?